Jury awards $46.5 million in malpractice case in Camden

A Union County jury awarded a total of $46.5 million in damages Thursday in a lawsuit over permanent disability suffered by a child born in 2014 at the Ouachita County Medical Center in Camden.

The lawsuit said Kara Smalls, child of Karl and Candice Smalls, was delivered by C-section June 4, 2014. It alleged that the family physician, Dr. Johnathan Lewis, failed to follow up properly on a blood test that indicated a high risk of extreme jaundice, a life threatening and brain damaging condition that is treatable. The mother had a previous child with a similar condition.

According to the suit: Though a nurse had also noticed evidence of slight jaundice, the mother and child were discharged with instructions to return in 10 days, but with no instructions about jaundice.Three days after discharge, Candice Smalls reported that her newborn was lethargic, crying shrilly and seemed in pain.